What is the significance of the blessing and the sanctification of the Shabbos?
Rashi: The Pasuk refers to the future. 1 Hashem blessed Shabbos by sending Yisrael in the desert a double portion of Manna (on Friday, two portions fell in honor of the Shabbos); and He sanctified it in that no Manna fell on Shabbos itself. 2
Ramban #1 (citing R. Sa'adyah Ga'on): A person who keeps Shabbos receives a blessing from Hashem, and becomes sanctified.
Ramban #2 (citing Ibn Ezra) and Seforno: Hashem's blessing consisted of the increase in fertility and the extra learning ability that comes with the Neshamah Yeseirah (The sanctification is the result of desisting from doing work on it
Ramban asks, this does not seem to be the verse's intention? Gur Aryeh answers, Shabbos itself is blessed and sanctified ever since Creation. Chazal merely bring a proof for this from the Manna.
The Da'as Zekenim (to Shemos 16:22) maintains that there was another blessing of the Manna for Shabbos. For each weekday meal, a half-Omer of Manna made one loaf, but the half-Omer that they baked for each of the three Shabbos meals made two loaves (Lechem Mishneh). Gur Aryeh gives a similar answer; refer to 2:3:1.1:1.
The Ramban also presents an esoteric explanation - as he often does. However, as the Ramban himself points out in his introduction to the Torah, anyone who thinks that he understands those explanations is fooling himself.
According to the Midrash, in what ways did Hashem bless the Shabbos?
Maharal (Tif'eres Yisrael, Ch. 40, p. 124; based on Midrash Raba): The Man is the greatest example of the blessings of Shabbos. 1 On Erev Shabbos, the Bnei Yisrael gathered the same amount of Man as every day, and then found it to be [miraculously] double.
Maharal (ibid. p. 125): According to the Midrash, all the days of the week found partners, except for Shabbos. Maharal explains, Shabbos is not merely a part, but rather an inclusive whole; thus, it is fit for blessing. 2
Maharal (ibid.): Shabbos is never moved or delayed; as opposed to the Festivals, which depend on the proclamation of Rosh Chodesh by Beis Din. Shabbos is thus intrinsically blessed. 3
The Man was bounty that descended from on High; it is the greatest example of blessing.
See Maharal's explanation of the continuation of the Midrash; the Jewish People would serve as the partner of Shabbos.
We may explain that Shabbos is fixed in place since Creation. This is its blessing, it does not need to receive its sanctity from others; rather, its sanctity is like a spring that bursts forth of its own accord. (EK)
According to the Midrash, in what ways did Hashem sanctify the Shabbos?
Maharal (Tif'eres Yisrael, Ch. 40, p. 124): The Midrash cites numerous opinions. Sanctity is reflected not in the natural world, but rather in that which is above nature. The primary example is the Man; refer to 2:3:1.3:1.
(Ibid.): Hashem sanctified Shabbos through [the command to abstain from] Melachah. Mankind is above nature, and by abstaining from physical Melachah on Shabbos, he attains sanctity.
(ibid.): He sanctified it through the "Mekoshesh Etzim" (who had desecrated the Shabbos
What is the relationship between the blessings of Shabbos and its sanctity?
Maharal (Tif'eres Yisrael, Ch. 40, p. 123): Chazal describe Shabbos both as a bride and as a queen. This shows two aspects of Shabbos
What is the meaning of the word "La'asos" ("to do"
Ramban #1, citing Ibn Ezra: It refers to the ability that Hashem infused into the creations to procreate.
Ramban #2: Hashem initially created the original matter (Beri'ah), and formed it on the six subsequent days (Ma'aseh). On Shabbos, He rested both from the Beri'ah and the Asiyah.
Targum Yonasan: Hashem rested from all the work that He did and that He will do. 5
Hadar Zekenim: It refers to Shedim, which were created Bein ha'Shemashos. There was no time to create [a body] until Shabbos came; therefore they have only Ru'ach, but no Guf.
Riva, Moshav Zekenim: It refers to the north wind, which is disorderly. When Gog and Magog will come and claim Divinity, Hashem will command him, "If so, create the north wind," to refute him.
This opinion in the Midrash maintains that, although on each day of the Creation, Hashem created three things; on Erev Shabbos, He created six
QUESTIONS ON RASHI
Rashi writes: "[He blessed the Shabbos - ]Throughout the week, one Omer of Man per person descended, but on Erev Shabbos,[it was] a double portion." But even on a weekday, far more Man descended than the Bnei Yisrael actually used (see Shemos 16:21)?
Gur Aryeh: The blessing of Shabbos was that when Bnei Yisrael brought home and measured the Man that they had gathered, they found it to be double.
Rashi writes: "But on Erev Shabbos, [it was] a double portion." Why does that constitute a blessing? The second portion was the Man for Shabbos (since no Man would fall on Shabbos)?
Gur Aryeh: It is a blessing to receive a lot at one time, rather than a small amount per day.
Maharal (Tif'eres Yisrael, Ch. 40, p. 124): The blessing was that on Erev Shabbos, the Bnei Yisrael gathered the same amount as every other day, and then found it to be [miraculously] double. 1
Rashi writes: "He also sanctified the Shabbos through Man; the Man did not fall at all [on Shabbos]." How does this demonstrate the sanctity of Shabbos?
Maharal (Tif'eres Yisrael, Ch. 40, p. 124): The natural world does not cease to grow or develop on Shabbos, because the material world (Chomer) cannot reach a state of rest or completion. The Man in the desert, however, was above the natural; therefore it rested on Shabbos. 1
Maharal: In a similar vein, the gift of Shabbos was granted only to Bnei Yisrael; not to Bnei Noach.
Rashi writes: "He sanctified the Shabbos through Man." But the Man also did not fall on Yom Tov (Rashi to Shemos 16:26)! If so, what is the uniqueness of Shabbos?
Maharal (Gevuros Hashem Ch. 63, p. 285): The blessing of Shabbos was that the Bnei Yisrael gathered one portion of Man, and then found that it emerged double. Perhaps on Erev Yom Tov this miracle did not occur, and they had to actually gather an extra portion for Yom Tov. This may also explain the extra sanctity of Shabbos. 2
The Rishonim dispute whether the Man fell on Yom Tov; see Tosfos to Beitzah 2b. (EK)
Maharal: On Shabbos there was no need for the Man to fall, because the food had already doubled. On Yom Tov, we would need the Man, and so we had to gather double the previous day; this is a lesser demonstration of Yom Tov's sanctity. See Maharal further regarding whether "Lechem Mishneh" is required at the Yom Tov meals. (EK)
Rashi writes: "[Instead of] the Melachah [of] Shabbos; He did double on the sixth day." What does this teach us?
Gur Aryeh: Hashem did not rest on Shabbos incidentally, merely because there was nothing left to create. Rather, it shows the intrinsic sanctity of Shabbos. 1 The seventh day represents the seventh heaven, Aravos, which is the place of His Throne of Glory. 2
Rashi writes: "[Instead of] the Melachah [of] Shabbos; He did double on the sixth day." The Midrash teaches that the Shedim (demons) were being created at twilight of Erev Shabbos, and they were not completed. Why didn't Hashem create the demons earlier in the day as well?
Gur Aryeh: The Shedim were supposed to have been created at twilight of the conclusion of the seventh day. Hashem instead created them 24 hours earlier, at twilight of the sixth day.